With the buzz happening around the Weekly Wine Quiz, I’ve got wine trivia on the (vino-soaked) brain lately. So it seemed serendipitous that I was contacted by the folks at Trivia Knows to try out their new cross-platform mobile wine trivia game, Wine Knows Trivia.
They invited me to take a sample test rive of the game on the iPhone, and I can say that I am fairly impressed – the interface is slick, there’s a bit of game-addiction action as you rack up bottles that measure your winnings/progress (which you can then share via twitter, Google+ and Facebook for bragging rights among your social circle as to who has the most wine smarties). And we all know that wine knowledge makes you appear sexier to your potential amorous pursuits (just sayin’).
And now YOU have a chance to win a copy of Wine Knows Trivia for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, because we’re giving away a redemption code for the app to THREE lucky commenters this week! Here’s the deal: you comment on this post, and at 9PM ET on Friday, January 27th I will randomly select three winners from the comments who will receive a redemption code via e-mail (if you win, you need to act fast – after February 3rd, the codes evaporate into the ether, never to be seen again!). Comment discussion topic coming after the jump.
Some of the questions in the Wine Knows trivia game are pretty friggin’ difficult – I found a few that rivaled those posed within the exams of the certifications for which I sat over the years. so it should keep all but the most die-hard wine geeks entertained…
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Today marks the second installment of the Weekly Wine Quiz. Based on feedback from last week’s quiz posting, I will not be supplying the answer directly in the post – you will need to tune back in later in the comments section for the answer. So you can put your answer in the comments for potential bragging rights!
Continuing our Champagne theme this month, many wine lovers know that Champagne is often a blend of different grape varieties, but fewer know that it is usually blended across vintages in order to produce a “house” style with a consistent taste profile year to year. The exception to the blended vintages is, of course, vintage-dated Champagne, which is produced in exceptional years only from grapes harvested during that vintage. What percentage of total Champagne production is vintage-dated?
- A. Less than 5 percent
- B. Less than 10 percent
- C. Less than 15 percent
- D. Less than 20 percent
- E. Less then 25 percent
Cheers – and good luck!
IntoWine.com recently (at least I think it was recently, as their posts for reasons unknown to me aren’t dated) ran an interview with SF Chronicle wine editor Jon Bonné (long-time readers will recall that roughly a year ago I was on a panel about writing better opinion pieces with Jon and the Wall Street Journal’s Lettie Teague, both of whom probably still in therapy trying to get over my inclusion; I’m kidding… I think…).
I’m not here today to dissect Jon’s responses (many of which ring true for me, and are worth a read because he’s a very, very intelligent guy), but one answer he gave to the IntoWine folks struck me as a bit odd. To the tape (emphasis is mine):
“The average consumer still feels intimidated by wine and wine-speak. Are publications like the Chronicle partly responsible for the prevalent feeling among consumers that wine is somehow beyond their comprehension?
If we’re going point fingers at the idea that wine is pretentious, let’s start with the spread of overpriced, mass-produced wine sold as an aspirational luxury. I’ll borrow a phrase from a conversation with a fellow writer a few days ago: You write up to your audience, not down. If sportswriters had to explain a two-point conversion every time they mentioned it, we’d all die of boredom. That’s not an excuse to fall into jargon. But there is no shortage of amateur wine criticism out there that doesn’t contribute to the conversation.”
The trouble for me is that I’ve got no idea what conversation Jon is talking about in that response.
It might be that there is a hidden wine conversation, one available only to a Romanée-Conti-sipping secret society of critics with wine review superpowers like UV vision that can detect the exact number of Brett, fruit, and mushroom particles floating around in a glass of Burgundy and determine at a glance if they are at an appropriate level. A secret society that meets in an underground lair at an undisclosed location (guarded by pools of sharks with lazer beams attached to their heads) and through joint nefarious consensus determines what wines will get the really high scores this year.
The bottom line is that this secret society might as well also be made up of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, because the real wine conversation is actually the one that the amateur critics are having. Or, I should say, it’s the thousands of real and virtual “water-cooler” conversations that the amateurs are having every day, all over the world…
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